Drugs in Drinking water

Drugs in drinking water

The contaminants discovered bisphenol-A (or BPA) an endocrine-disrupting chemical frequently used in consumer plastics; methotrexate, an immunosuppressant and cancer treatment; and sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic. Samples also frequently included ubiquitous drugs like 1,7-dimethylxanthine (a metabolite of caffeine) and acetaminophen, an over-the-counter painkiller.

Although we do occasionally see hormones and pharmaceuticals, really the occurrence of [them] in untreated groundwater used for drinking water supply across the U.S. is not widespread, and exposure to these compounds at concentrations that we detected is unlikely to have adverse effects on human health based on comparisons to available human health benchmarks,” Laura Bexfield, a hydrologist with the USGS and author of the research, told Healthline.

Fish and other aquatic life are likely to have higher exposure to these contaminants. Recently, different drugs have begun showing up in the organisms that inhabit certain waters in the United States. Earlier this year, bay mussels in Washington’s Puget Sound tested positive for oxycodone, an opioid prescription analgesic.

 

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